On the surface, Two Worlds looks like it can easily entertain for hours with its open-ended gameplay, online play and the slight media hype that it received. However, this poor man’s Oblivion contains some of the most broken gameplay I have ever seen.
The player takes the role of a mercenary who is looking for his kidnapped sister but gets tangled up in a quest about some family relic that can revive a great evil. Two Worlds has a lot of area to explore, many quests to conquer, and tons of people to talk to. The gameplay formula is a solid idea on paper, but the design and programming behind this game is nothing but a buggy mess. Two Worlds is a great example of a game that should have been fun, but the horrible coding and menu presentation of the game makes the entire experience unplayable.
Combat is joke. Swinging your weapon or shooting your bow is done solely with the right trigger while magic is used with the left trigger. Defeating enemies involves nothing more than button mashing. However, in order to use magic, you must first stand completely still, then cast the spell. This not only slows down gameplay, but also is inconvenient in combat situations. But this doesn’t really matter anyway as there is no penalty for dying. Once dead, you simply respawn at the nearest respawn site, pick up the fight where you left off, then die again, then respawn, the fight and die again… you get the picture. This can continue until every enemy in the game has perished.
The only way the game increases the difficulty is by adding more enemies to fight at once. Whether it be fighting a pack of wolves or boars, thieves or soldiers, combat is mindless and broken. Lining up an attack is nearly impossible and relies more on luck than anything. But fighting packs of enemies is not really different than fighting a single enemy as the same tactic can be used throughout the game. By using simple hit and run tactics, it is possible to have an entire horde of enemies mindlessly chase you for miles while you land one hit, then run away, and repeat. But it is no big deal if you die thanks to the forgiving respawn points.
The land in which the game takes place is huge. And to help you traverse this large area, the player can ride a horse. However, controlling this horse is worse than driving a tank on ice. It is nearly impossible to turn and combat is even harder while on horseback. Even though it is much faster to ride by horseback, I found myself walking simply because it is a lot easier to navigate.
When I first booted up this game, I was immediately intimated by the menu screen. So much information is crammed into each screen, it is hard to decipher anything. Plus, the game does not teach the player how to upgrade skills, mix potions, or update armor. And for some reason, the cursor that you use to select everything in the menu, especially on the map potion of the menu, is incredibly tiny and difficult to see so that half of the time, you don’t even know what you are selecting. This makes the map screen useless.
Besides the terrible frame rate and menu screens, the animation is appalling. Think of how your character would perform a running animation in any game. Got it?… ok. Now take that animation and remove half the frames and insert massive amounts of clipping. That is what Two Worlds is like. All shoddy animation compliments the other graphics in the game as it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a boar and a wolf, and the environments look like early PS2 quality. The game is an eye soar.
Two Worlds is pretty much Fable mixed with Oblivion…except with horrible gameplay mechanics. The programming and graphical qualities of the game are worse than the earliest PS2 games. In fact, the frame rate is so choppy, I was worried that this game was damaging the internal workings of my 360. Every few steps, the game would skip, then freeze a little, then a loud loading noise would be expelled from my 360 hardware, then the game would pick up again. The inconsistent frame rate not only damages gameplay, but it feels like this disc is trying to make the 3 Red Lights of Death appear. I am not joking.
In a game like this, you would expect tranquil musical themes to compliment you on your journey around a world. While the music is pretty much just as broken as the gameplay, the voice acting is nothing short of horrific. However, the voice acting itself is not the entirely place the blame. The writing in this game mimics that of a 7th grader who just took a Shakespeare class. On another note, the instruction booklet has the some of the worse text I have ever read. The instruction booklet is written in poor English that is actually embarrassing to read. And if the poor grammar skills weren’t enough, the back of the instruction manual has nine pages of notes! These are those extra pages in the back of all instruction manuals in which you can jot your own notes that no one ever uses. The average instruction maybe has 1-2 pages for these “notes,” but not Two Worlds! They have nine. This waste of paper could have been cut down to one page with the note of “don’t play this game” written in bold at the top.
If you were debating on whether or not to purchase the standard version or the limited edition version of Two Worlds, the answer would be neither. But if you went with the limited edition, you are given an extra disc filled with goodies, a map, and a pen and paper RPG so you can not only torture yourself virtually, but also with a pen. But you still have to go online and buy your own dice. Cheap.
There are multiplayer options available, but this is just a chance for several people to play a crappy game together. There is no point to play online, especially since there are no specific online Achievements to unlock.
There is no excuse for Two Worlds. A game like this should not have any trouble running on the 360 (or PC) but the inconsistent frame rate, dull combat, and eye straining menu system make this game unplayable, intolerable, and embarrassing. This game is not even worthy of a rental so I strongly advise that you stay away. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go play a better game…it’s called Sneak King.